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NSF Press Release


NSF PR 04-083 - June 18, 2004

Media contact: Bill Noxon, NSF  (703) 292-7750
Program contact: Anthony Teolis, NSF  (703) 292-7343

150 U.S. Graduate Students Embark on Research Experiences in East Asia and Australia

  Photo of Leslie Almberg
Leslie Almberg, a graduate student from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (EAPSI 2003), begins her first assent of one of the world's most active volcanoes, Unzen Dake on Japan’s Kyushu Island. Almberg is contributing to a large international research collaboration to drill into the conduit of the volcano, which has been closed to the public since its most recent eruptions (1991-95).
Credit: Photo courtesy Leslie Almberg, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
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  Almberg with Oguri-san at the Geological Survey of Japan
Almberg receives some help from Oguri-san, a graduate student in volcanology at the Geological Survey of Japan, as the two search for characteristic clasts from samples representing more than 2,000 meters of drill core from 500,000 years of eruptive history from Unzen Dake Volcano.
Credit: Photo courtesy Nobu Geshi, Geologic Survey of Japan, Volcanology Group
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(Size: 470KB)
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American students are happy to find jobs during the summer to help pay for their schooling. Others are more fortunate to be part of intern programs that prepare them for their eventual professional lives. For some others, however, the summer prospects are even more rewarding. How about an opportunity to construct carbon nanotubes in a Sydney, Australia laboratory? What about the chance to study with a molecular virologist in Taipei to search for a potential HIV cure? Or maybe do research based on a fossil fuel carbon emission model created in Seoul to better understand the effects of greenhouse gases?

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) 2004 East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Program (EAPSI) for U.S. Graduate Students will offer just such opportunities for 150 advanced science and engineering students this summer in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. NSF will support these students as they conduct research with foreign counterparts in fields such as cancer research, humanoid robotics, computational neuroscience and nanofabrication.

For example, Matthew Averill, a graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso, will work on earthquake prediction with researchers at the University of Tokyo. Sarah Rothenberg from the University of California, Los Angeles, will work on modeling urban water demand at China’s Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources.

"This is the largest contingent of U.S. graduate student participants in the program's 14-year history," according to Larry Weber, who manages the EAPSI program. "These research experiences abroad offer exciting discovery opportunities for talented American science and engineering graduate students, and the program will enable them to have the skills necessary to operate in a competitive international research arena and global marketplace in the future."

The institutes provide U.S. graduate students in science and engineering with first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan, as well as an introduction to the culture and language of the region. The institutes also offer students first-hand knowledge of the research infrastructure and science policies of their international partners.

The summer institutes last approximately eight weeks from June to August. Each EAPSI awardee receives from NSF an international round-trip air ticket and a stipend of $3,000. Sponsoring organizations in these East Asia and the Pacific communities support students' local living expenses.

NSF administers and manages the EAPSI program through its Office of International Science and Engineering. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) co-sponsor the summer institute in Japan.

Applications are being sought for the 2005 summer institutes. The deadline for submitting those applications is Dec. 10, 2004.


For a complete list of 2004 EAPSI awardees and research areas, see:
For general program information, see:
For more information on application requirements for 2005, see:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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